This country is the COVID-19 hero. What is the rest of the world doing wrong?
This country is the Corona-virus hero. This same country is so close to China and this same country is not a member state of The World Health Organization but as we speak right now, according to worldometers.info, an active COVID-19 live tracker website, This country has had a total of only 440 cases, 347 recoveries and only 6 deaths and on top of this, there was no any sort of mandatory lockdown in that country.Schools never closed, Sports events and churches are open, markets are open and life is normal.
That country is Taiwan, I doubt that you reading this can point where this small country is on the world map.I’m kidding, I know you know where it is but to show it to someone who doesn’t.
That small island you see up there is Taiwan, so close to China and surprisingly managed to contain the virus. How did they do it? What is this Island(Taiwan) and what should the rest of the world learn from this country?
What is Taiwan and everything else you need to know about this country?
Taiwan is an island that the People’s Republic of China regard as a rebel region. This country has been independent since 1950 but China believe it’s a self distanced province that will soon join the mainland China either peacefully or by force but the Taiwan people want this island a separate nation. This country has a total population of 23.3 million people(BBC monitoring,2020)
Tsai Ing-wen is the country’s first female president and she was elected in January 2016 and she was the reason behind negotiations of the country to join the World Trade Organization. But what is wrong with this country because we’ve seen that it’s not a member of WHO and wasn’t part of the World Trade Organization? Well, Taiwan needs to be a member state of the United Nations for it to claim WHO membership, turns out that Taiwan is not part of the UN.But why is this country not part of the UN and WHO and other big International Organizations? The problem to Taiwan is China and Taiwan is being stopped by China to join UN and WHO because they claim that this country is part of China, actually it’s a province of China and China won’t let this happen because they hold a very powerful position in the UN security Council and secondly, China can’t allow a province of its own to join because it’s part of China.
Despite the Pandemic,the relationship between Taiwan and The World Health Organization(WHO) didn’t improve at any single bit. WHO claimed that it has been closely working with this country and trying to offer as much help as they can but the Taiwan Government refuted to this and also despite how much effort Taiwan has put into giving data to WHO, this organization has not shared this information with its member states WHO does not take into account the data Taiwan gives about COVID-19 but get data about this country from China.
How did Taiwan beat The Coronavirus?
Now that we know how isolated this country is from international programs and funds, who did it survive the pandemic?
Firstly, Taiwan was the first country to take the pandemic seriously compared to any other country of the world. on December 31st,Taiwan started screening all travelers from Wuhan,China(Foreign policy,2020).The country started to study about this Virus and surprisingly before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Taiwan had already put measures already to protect their people. No country was quick and proactive as Taiwan and this response, is what made this country a Corona-virus hero. Taiwan went a step further and introduced travel restrictions by the time Coronavirus cases were rising in Wuhan.
Another interesting thing was that the Government of Taiwan predicted the high demand of masks.They knew masks would be out of stock so they put a limit on how many masks in a week someone would buy, as they were evenly managing already existing masks, more masks were in production and this country didn’t experience any mask deficit problems. As we speak right now, Taiwan has donated more than 7 million masks worldwide and 2.28 Million masks were donated to the US alone. Right now, Taiwan has donated a total of 17 Million masks worldwide and is planning to donate citizen made masks to more foreign countries.
So what should the rest of the world learn from Taiwan?
The first and most important thing we should learn from the Taiwan strategy is obviously early action.A country like Rwanda has done a lot of work to contain this virus, but starting the lock down three months later was a problem, despite the fact that there is no single death recorded,at least the cases would have been below what we have and the economic situation in general would have been in better control. Let’s have a look at the most affected countries by this pandemic, a country like the US, a member state of The World Health Organization, a super power, why has has it been affected that much, compared to an unrecognized island that China claims to their province? The US was so late, despite the mandatory lock down, people still die because containment was out of control. Early action to the pandemic was what the whole world did wrong.
Lastly,there should be no excuses. Excuses such as a country not being part of The World Health Organization was the reasons why we failed to contain the virus. We’ve seen Taiwan a non member state contain the virus and prove itself to the rest of the world. We’ve seen so many member states of WHO, respond late to the COVID, and despite of the funds from WHO, Taiwan has proven that there is something more than relief funds and doing things your own way, even though international standards are not meant as long as it works for your country and people, then everything should be good.
Before you close this blog, remember that 338 of Taiwan’s total 393 coronavirus patients were people who had returned from abroad(Daily Taiwan News,2020)